Luke Owen looks at a few box office flops…
It has been a very successful year at the box office for most of the major studios (Disney and Universal have done particularly well), but that doesn’t mean we’ve had a few duds along the way. Not just from a critical standpoint, but also from a box office performance. Some titles, thought to be big tentpole movies, failed to light up the box office and turn in money – and as such stole headlines in 2015 for their failings.
To save you from making snide comments in the comment section below, this is not a definitive list of the biggest box office bombs of 2015, but it’s a snapshot of some of the more surprising failures. We’re also only looking at their domestic totals, as that is what constitutes to a movie being a success or a failure.
Budget: $155 million / Domestic total: $85 million
The movie that was intended to kick-start the Terminator franchise for another new trilogy really didn’t work out the way they planned. Funnily enough, that sentence could also apply to the last attempt to reboot the franchise in Terminator Salvation, but Terminator: Genisys was a bigger flop than that. The film was built around the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the role that put him on the map in the mid-80s, and was designed to be a create an alternate timeline to allow for further Terminator adventures. Sadly, Arnie’s poor box office form since his return to the big screen has continued as Terminator: Genisys made just $27 million on its opening weekend, failing to beat both Inside Out in its third week of release and Jurassic World in its fourth. The film would make a total of $85 million domestically, which is a whole lot lower than its $155 million budget. Not even the endorsement from James Cameron could save the film. Plans for the future of the franchise were put on hold, as they announced they were looking to re-adujust the series. Could Terminator finally be Terminated?
Budget: $120 million / Domestic total: $56 million
Oh dear, Fantastic Four. The movie didn’t get off to the best of starts when it was first announced, and the hiring of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm put more of a target on its back than was really necessary. Even before a single frame was filmed, Fantastic Four was hated on by the Internet masses. Then, a few days before the film was released, director Josh Trank publicly slammed the movie and blamed Fox for the terrible reviews. Over the next few days, a slew of stories came out about how Fox cut the budget of the movie prior to filming and that Trank didn’t even direct the new finale demanded by the studio. Re-shoots were obvious with Kate Mara wearing the most ridiculous wig you’ve ever seen, and the box office performance reflected the poor film-making on show. Opening to a dismal $25 million behind Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in its second week, Fantastic Four would make just over $56 million when all was said and done. So what happens now? Well Fox have until 2020 to make another movie, and producer Simon Kinberg has said that they are working hard on what they’re going to do with the property when it comes to a sequel. However, it was revealed recently that the proposed Fantastic Four 2 was quietly removed from Fox’s upcoming slate. One thing is for sure, Josh Trank won’t be involved.
Jem and the Holograms
Budget: $5 million / Domestic total: $2 million
You would think with a tiny budget of $5 million, the big screen version of 80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms would have fared better at the box office. But the film didn’t adhere to anything that made the show popular, and instead became an un-organised mess that didn’t know what audience to cater for. Jem and the Holograms didn’t even crack the Top 10 on its opening weekend, and would be taken off cinema screens after just two weeks. Director Jon M. Chu said at an awards ceremony that he was given death threats over the film, and it seems like the die-hard Jem fan’s boycott of the movie actually worked for a change. If only Transformers fans had that kind of backbone.
Rock the Kasbah
Budget: $15 million / Domestic total: $3 million
Opening the same weekend as Jem and the Holograms, Rock the Kasbah was a huge disappointment for Barry Levinson, the once great director behind Diner and Good Morning, Vietnam. The film did marginally better than Jem and the Holograms, but it still became the fifth lowest grossing movie to open on more than 2,000 theatres. To put this in perspective, it opened in more theatres but took less money than The Adventures of Pluto Nash and All Dogs go to Heaven 2. Poor ol’ Billy Murray. It probably didn’t help that the movie was panned.
Budget: $30 million / Domestic total: $17 million
The second attempt to make a movie based around the life and times of the man behind the iPod, Steve Jobs performed shockingly bad considering the subject matter and the impressive cast. With the likes of Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels – not to mention being directed by Danny Boyle from a script by Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs managed just $7 million from its wide release. The film had been tipped for Awards Season, but Universal pulled the film after just two weeks at the box office, giving it just over $17 million when all was said and done. Who would have thought it would do worse than the movie where Asthon Kutcher played the role?
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